Branko Cerovac

Bojan Štokelj
I. Regenta 3



or: satellitic transmission of post hominid bulletproof module


The real everyday nature of
earthly cells hypostasized in
space mean the end of meta-
physics. Now starts the era of

(free rendering of a passage from
Jean Baudrillard's "Ecstasy of

Who (what?) and how "today", in the aftermath of almost eight hyper-realistic years since B.O.Š.'s realization of the SINE ANNO (I) ambient in Banja Luka (1989) in the eve of the YU-death/YU-cell deterioration which had anyway (become?) "sine anno" a kind of bulletproof necropolis for the potential dead, missing, or displaced ("decontaminated") astronauts from the Ex-Yu-Sarajevo module known as, on a symbolically-non-metaphorical (metonymical) level, BLOCK XI APARTMENT NO. 5-hence, let's start all over again, who and what "still" resides (and how) in that only "apartment" with a door, but without the scorched eyeless doll that B.O.Š. artistically satellized and equipped with optical sensors (viriles) within the structural complex of his metallic peep-show neosculpturally and thoroughly bulletproofed subject-module? W. Reich construed a booth-like box for the living dead. But Štokelj's simulacrum as an anti-utopian device and "sculptural" provocative surrogate of the experience of non-dwelling of the non present (missing) is not that kind of a therapeutic energizer machine. Neither is it a paleoindustrial chassis of some sort of Ballard-Baudrillard hyperboloid. So, how can this ever be perceived in light of the New Slovenian Sculpture!?
Bearing this heavy burden of a block for sculptural DEJA VU installation on his shoulders, Štokelj, during the indicative year of 1989, injured one of his spinal vertebras (so that his backbone could no longer bend!). This fact was undeniably a "plug in" into the Slovenian sculptural elite of the Eighties and Nineties, since his fractal backbone and tormented torso can now only be compared with the conceptually analogous sculpturing achievements of a Jakov Brdar.
In his film CITIZEN KANE (1941), Orson Welles says something like: "He never disclosed anything. He only gave hints."
In Štokelj's surrogated module, the DOLL, the object found in the devastated Block-Apartment in Sarajevo, magically "equalizes" considerations between the experience of disclosure and the experience of an aesthetical perception of reality as an object, but also as an informational nucleus of reality inserted from "outside" into the system of art. At the selected location of confrontation. The armored CITIZEN KANE stands face to face with the truth of his own mysterious "rosebud", that object which this Welles' masterpiece causes everybody to seek and yearn, the object of their "mental pains", causing arrhythmic heart beats, headaches, breakdown and fire in Kane's media armored and blocked empire. Kane on the bier in his castle. For Kane the years from 1929 to 1941 were the "Sine anno" I., when a mechanical "rose" really "played" a role in surroundings with a bier and reclined heads, like in the fall of 1989, but on the inside corresponds to Sine anno II (1997), "after all".

The NAKED Lunch is a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork. (William S. Burroughs)

Branko Cerovac
22 Nov. 1997

(Translated from Croatian into English by Slobodan Drenovac)

(excerpt from a lengthier contribution in the above mentioned periodical, dated July 4, 1997, page 1)

Artist, Bojan Štokelj, known for having already visited our part of the country, comes from Slovenia.

Imre: How did he come upon the idea for Sine anno II?

On occasion of his visit to Sarajevo and realization of the Collegium Artisticum (Skenderija) Project called PROGRAMMER IN BELGRADE -- NEWS FROM SERBIA, the artist abandons the sacral gallery space of the enamored and starts his search for new materials -- photographs, since he had previously planned preparation of a WEB page -- RTV SARAJEVO -- NEWS CHRONICLE. It is quite apparent that he was thereafter attracted to the demolished and devastated flats, since necrophilia is a homelike feeling in the environment from where the artist comes. Everybody told him that the best scene is in Dobrinje. After this town quarter of Sarajevo was liberated by the Serbs, only cocoons and completely destroyed blocks of apartment buildings remained. The blocks stood in squares.
He paid a visit to Block 10, Apartment no. 5. He chose that apartment because it was the only one with a door. The writing on the door said RING, KNOCKING IS OUT OF ORDER. Behind the door -- nothing, just empty cocoons and a green surface several floors down below. During the Canon's flash he caught sight of a doll's head, nicely scorched by fire and slaughtered pat through her eye.
An invitation from the Serbian Ministry of Culture to participate in the sculpture symposium on urban sculpture was already waiting for him at home, to take place in an idyllic zone in the town of Apatin in northwestern Serbia, close to Vukovar. The organizer, the well known Meandar Gallery, organized the work in the shipyard. Due to the international blockade, some 300 workers were jobless, so that we were given a great welcome. The other participants were Kosta Bogdanoviæ, Jasminka Brkanoviæ, Zoran Todoroviæ.

Imre: "You made two creations?"
Yes, each artist made one urban sculpture and one gallery object. For instance, I made an urban object called SINE ANNO II and a gallery piece called DIGITAL MACHINE.
The SINE ANNO I, which you could have seen at the Engagé Art Exhibition on the Territory of Yugoslavia in 1989 in Banja Luka does not differ all that much, as they say, from SINE ANNO II.
It is an iron structure whose dimensions are 250 x 160 x 80 centimeters. It has two viriles. The top one is penetrated by a ray of sunlight which illuminates the head of the doll from Dobrinje. Through the frontal opening you can nicely see, if you bend down, the interior. The front panel bears the inscription BLOCK XI, APARTMENT NUMBER 5. The structure is now located in the urban center itself, the center of town, on the green lawn in front of the entry to Apatin's police station.

Imre: "And the Digital Machine?"
It was found in the shipyard's scrap heap. Its shape alone confirms its content.
The draftsmen who draw plans of ships' hulls in gauges 1:1 are located in the upper premises of the shipyard. You can enter their premises only in soft slippers. They are considered artists. The drawings of acts on the walls support this view.
The Apatin Gallery bought two pictures and 3 pairs of slippers for installation of the Digital Machine.
The installation was comprised of winking little lamps on the upper panel of the machine which emitted the sound of a Hawaii guitar, smoke, and red light. The already mentioned slippers were set up in front of the structure, and the walls were covered with pictures of sexy models.

Imre: "Did they understand what it was all about?"
The very fact that a queue with a large number of Gypsies standing in front of the machine waiting to enter (which was not particularly suitable, since neither the president of the county, the director of the shipyard, the chief of police, nor the curator herself could get their turn) speaks for itself about the success of the installation.

(Translated from Croatian into English by Slobodan Drenovac)